UPDATES 7 pm Israel time Wednesday:
*Two IDF officers have been wounded in clashes with Palestinians at Qusra this afternoon.
*The value of the dollar against the shekel has hit its lowest point in years–3.6.
What an utter disaster for Israel.
The announcement yesterday that Tzipi Livni is joining the Netanyahu coalition and will be put in charge of “peace” negotiations with the Palestinians has left most Israelis in a state of shock. More than this, Netanyahu has incredibly put Livni’s tiny party in charge of the Justice and Environmental Ministries–and apparently has even put it in control of the Knesset committee that determines what legislation makes it to the Knesset floor.
At the risk of a slight exaggeration, Tzipi Livni has been placed in virtual control of the government. Whether you believe this or not, she certainly has become the public face of Israel.
Just four weeks ago, Livni was on the edge of political oblivion, having won only 6 seats in the new Knesset.
And why exactly did she only win 6 seats? Because the basis of her candidacy was her preposterous peace plan that calls for giving the Palestinians virtually everything they want.
More than this, Israelis were appalled by her proposal for a three stage “peace” process:
Stage 1: Coordination of the Israeli position with the Obama Administration
Stage 2: Coordination of the Israeli-Obama position with the European Union
Stage 3: Entering into direct negotiations with the Palestinians
What every Israeli knew (and knows) is that the Livni-Obama-European Union position is the same as the Palestinian position. The Palestinians will not have to make any compromise for “peace”as Obama and European force Israel into concession after concession.
In fact, a mere two months ago, Netanyahu duplicitously said this about Livni: “Livni led the peace negotiations [as Foreign Minister under Olmert] in a totally unacceptable manner. So there is no chance to give her a hand in this field, assuming it to be a next government I lead.”
The truth is that Netanyahu’s embrace of Livni is just one more step in Netanyahu’s movement to the “left”–a slide that began in earnest during the last four years with Netanyahu putting Ehud Barak in charge of the IDF and therefore in charge of Judea and Samaria and Gaza.
The irony of Netanyahu choosing Livni as a coalition partner is supreme. Just four years ago, President Obama (the same President Obama who is being given the Israel Medal of Distinction by Shimon Peres during his visit to Israel next month “for strengthening the state of Israel”) did all that he could to undermine Netanyahu and replace him with a coalition headed by Livni. Now, on the verge of Obama’s visit next month, Netanyahu has given Obama what he wanted.
Benjamin Netanyahu is in rapid decline. This latest episode has revealed to all that Netanyahu’s paramount concern is his own survival–not the state of Israel.